Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: My View

Arrived home late last night from the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum. I didn’t take very many pictures, and I have far fewer pictures than I usually do. I feel like I spent most of the time trying to understand and absorb the information that was being shared and trying to figure out how to communicate it in less than 140 characters.

When I took a closer look at the first picture I captured, I saw a perfect example of why these forums have value to our community.

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate ForumFirst I had to look past the soda (it was early and I needed the caffeine). On the left hand side of the picture is my tablet, already connected to the internet with the Twitter stream running. It is financially impossible for the entire diabetes online community to be in the room at the same time, so I am thankful that we have access to technology that lets us share information in real time.

The real story in the photo though, is behind the tablet. The woman in the picture is Katie Szyman, and she is the Senior Vice President and Group President of Medtronic Diabetes. The evidence of the power of the diabetes community working together is when a company recognizes the value of putting someone with wide ranging knowledge and influence in organization in front of a group of passionate (sometimes cynical, sometimes loud) advocates.

During the forum, we talked about technology, we talked about insurance and health care coverage, we talked about social media interactions, we talked about advocacy opportunities around the world and the best way we can work together to make the biggest impact.

I will never be the place to find an in-depth analysis of the latest technology, or a breakdown of exactly how the changing health care laws affect people living with diabetes. All I know is what living with diabetes is like for me. I’m looking over the notes I have from the weekend so I can share with my voice what I learned and took away from the forum.

Disclosure: My flight, hotel, food and other associated expenses were covered by Medtronic for this event. As any other post on my blog, all thoughts and opinions expressed will continue to be my own.

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